UT Southern unveils new mascot, logos ahead of UT System switch


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The University of Tennessee Southern, previously known as Martin Methodist College, has unveiled its new athletic branding and mascot after the University of Tennessee board of trustees voted unanimously to add the school to the UT system.

UT Southern, located in Pulaski, will officially join the UT system July 1. It’s the first new campus added to the UT system since Chattanooga in 1969.

On Wednesday, school officials released the official logos to be used the school’s athletic programs as well as introducing ‘Flame the Firehawk’ as the school’s mascot. Knoxville-based illustrator Danny Wilson developed the concept and logo for the Firehawks.

“I am excited about the new feel of UT Southern athletics, and starting out with a new mascot will bring excitement to the entire campus,” Brandie Paul, UTS athletic director, said. “Flame the Firehawk will be a sure ‘fire’ hit.” 

UTS will unveil new uniforms for its 19 teams in late August.

Firehawks represents the fifth mascot for the university. When the university exclusively taught women, the teams were known as the Spinsters. During the college’s brief foray into football in 1939 and 1940, the team was known as the Cardinals. In 1950, the teams became known as the Indians, which lasted until 2002 when they became the RedHawks.

“I was here when Rowdy the Redhawk was introduced, it was exciting to see him become the spirit of our campus,” Paul said. “The unveiling will start us off in a direction that will be new and invigorating. Flame the Firehawk will light the way for a new spirit in our new UT family.”

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